dano

Dano

SHARON – Police have accused a Sharon man of peering into a teenager’s window at a home near Buhl Park.

Nicolas Dano Jr., 49, of 469 E. Silver St., faces charges of stalking, invasion of privacy and loitering and prowling at nighttime after police said an officer found him walking near a Hannah Court home. District Judge Dennis M. Songer of Sharon ordered the charges held over to Mercer County Court of Common Pleas after a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Immediately following his preliminary hearing, Sharon filed additional charges against Dano in connection with allegations in February along the 500 block of Lillian Drive, police said. Dano was arraigned on the latest charges and taken to Mercer County Jail after he failed to post $5,000 bond.

In a criminal complaint filed with Songer’s court, police said the charges were filed after two years of intermittent reports that someone was prowling and stalking outside homes in the Hannah Court area.

At 8:44 p.m. Feb. 6, Sharon police responded to a call at a home in the 500 block of Lillian Drive after a report that a resident saw a man in her backyard.

The next day police were called to the same address at 6:19 p.m. A neighbor reported seeing a ladder propped against the rear of the house and a man climbing it to see inside the home, according to the criminal complaint.

Police already were aware of two other similar incidents at the same address on Feb. 9 and 12 in the evening hours. 

At about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, police said an officer was called to a home in the 1700 block of Hannah Court. The officer was aware of ongoing stalking, loitering and prowling incidents in the area over the last couple of years, with increasing frequency in recent weeks.

The officer also knew that the resident had installed a motion-activated video camera programmed to send an alert to any mobile device authorized by the home user, according to the criminal complaint.

On Dec. 16, the camera recorded a white man near the back of the home wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a stocking cap, gloves and dark-colored pants.

The video showed the man approach the back of the house, look around and step up to the house next to a bedroom occupied by a 15-year-old girl. The video showed the suspect attempting to look into the window before leaving the area.

Officers said a witness saw the man a week earlier and followed him north on Lillian Drive to an area near Parkview Boulevard before losing track of him.

According to the criminal complaint, the officer began a search for the suspect and found a man walking northbound on Lillian Drive. The man was wearing clothing that matched the description from the video.

Dano identified himself and told the officer he was just out walking. The police officer took him into custody on suspicion of loitering and prowling at nighttime.

In an interview with detectives, Dano said he looked into the girl’s window, but said he was only checking the time. He also admitted to being in that area frequently to walk, run and exercise. 

Sharon detectives then filed for a search warrant on Dano’s home, which was approved by District Judge Mary A. Odem of Farrell.

Detectives found newspaper and newsletter clippings with pictures of a juvenile female victim.

In one set of charges, Dano was charged with stalking and invading the privacy of five residents on Hannah Court, police said.

The second set of charges were for the February incidents. A preliminary hearing for that case is scheduled for Jan. 28 before Songer.

Sharon police Capt. Travis Martwinski said Dano previously resided in Washington County and was convicted in 1999 of sexual abuse of children and possession of child pornography. He was required to register for 15 years as a Tier 1 sex offender.

Dano was placed in the Sharon Community Correction Center in October 2012, Martwinski said.

He was released in November 2013 and lived in a Sharon apartment. Dano was sent back to prison in January 2014 after a conviction for burglary and related offenses in an incident in Hermitage. He was paroled in December 2016 and in February 2017 moved back to Sharon. By that time, he was no longer required to register as a sex offender.

Martwinski said Dano is a suspect in 11 stalking incidents in Hermitage, Sharpsville and in and around the Buhl Park area.

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